Americans Are Paying For Biden’s Failed Energy Policies

Americans Already Paying More To Fill Up Their Cars, Heat Their Homes, And Keep Their Lights On Are Likely To Pay Even More For Those Things This Winter, As Families Continue To Suffer The Consequences Of President Biden’s Failed Energy Policies


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Families across America have felt the brunt of this all-Democratic government’s failed energy policies…. Here’s what working families in Kentucky know: That a gallon of gas costs over a full dollar more than before President Biden took office. American families and small businesses know their electricity bills skyrocketed this spring and summer. And they know that heating costs on Democrats’ watch this fall and winter may be catastrophic. Just like our overall 13.2% inflation since January 2021 is directly traceable to Democrats’ reckless spending, a lot of our energy crisis is traceable to Democrats’ shortsighted policies.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/29/2022)


Gas Prices Are Going Up Again, With Large Price Spikes In A Number Of States

“A 99-day run of falling gasoline prices — a streak that gave consumers a glimmer of hope that red-hot inflation might be cooling — has ended, with pump prices still much higher than a year ago. The nationwide average price for a gallon ticked up … Many energy analysts believe that prices are more likely to rise than fall in the next few months.” (“US Gas Prices Tick Up,” The Associated Press, 9/21/2022)

  • “‘I’d estimate over the next few weeks a recovery in prices,’ said Allen Good, an equities analyst at Morningstar. He expects gas prices to ‘remain relatively high,’ between $3.50 and $4 a gallon in the coming months, he said.” (The New York Times, 9/21/2022)

NEVADA: “After weeks of decline, gasoline prices in Las Vegas have spiked 24 cents in the last week and have topped $5 a gallon again. The average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas Monday in Las Vegas was $5.09, according to AAA data. That’s up sharply from the $4.85 average seen in the Las Vegas Valley on Sept. 19.” (“Las Vegas Gas Prices Again Spiking; Average Tops $5/Gallon,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/26/2022)

ARIZONA: “Gas prices are up another 8 cents on Tuesday, with the average price for a gallon of gas in Arizona up 20 cents from a week ago, according to AAA. It’s now more than $4.18 a gallon statewide. In Phoenix, gas prices are now 50 cents higher than they were a month ago, taking a toll on people’s budgets and gas sellers’ pockets.” (“Arizona Gas Prices Are Up 20 Cents In A Week. Experts Explain Why,” 12News, 9/27/2022)

WISCONSIN: “As anyone who went by a gas station in Madison over the past week can certainly attest, drivers will need to dig a lot deeper the next time they fill their tanks. Average gas prices in the Wisconsin capital spiked more than 40 cents in the past week, leaving drivers shelling out $3.73 per gallon, according to the latest figures provided by GasBuddy…. The surge in gas prices in Madison pushed its prices higher than Milwaukee, despite the fact the state’s largest city saw its own price jump of 20 cents per gallon. Appleton’s jump was the highest of the three Wisconsin cities reported by GasBuddy …” (“Madison Gas Prices Soar,” WMTV, 9/26/2022)

OHIO: “Drivers are being hit with another jump in gas prices throughout Northeast Ohio. In Akron, gas prices have spiked 32.5 cents within the last week with the average cost now listed at $3.62 per gallon. The new data, which was released early Monday morning by GasBuddy, also shows that Cleveland gas prices have increased 22.6 cents per gallon with the average cost now at $3.63. For context, that puts Cleveland’s gas prices 7.6 cents higher than one month ago and 61.2 cents more than this time last year.” (“Gas Prices Spike 32 Cents In Akron, 22 Cents In Cleveland,” WKYC, 9/26/2022)

OREGON: “If you’ve filled up your car recently, this may not be news to you: The average price of a gallon of gas in Oregon has gone up a lot recently…. [T]hey spiked over the past week, more sharply in Oregon than in any state in the country according to the American Automobile Association. The AAA analysis found the average gas price at Oregon pumps went up 50 cents per gallon.” (“Oregon Gas Prices Rising Faster Than Anywhere In The Country,” OPB, 9/27/2022)

CALIFORNIA: “Sticker Shock. Just a day after Californians saw gas top $6 for a gallon of regular unleaded, gasoline prices made their largest jump in seven years overnight. According to AAA, the Los Angeles-Long Beach region increased 15.3 cents overnight to $6.26/gallon Thursday. The price increase is the largest since a 15.1 cent increase in July 2015. It was also the 27th consecutive day gas prices have risen in Los Angeles County, where prices are 67 cents higher than they were a week ago. Statewide, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded stands at $6.18 …” (“Gas Prices In California Skyrocket Overnight; Largest Increase In 7 Years,” KTLA, 9/29/2022)


Gas Prices Are Still ‘Substantially Higher Than They Were When [The Biden Administration] Took Office’

As of September 26th, 2022, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the weekly national retail gasoline price was $3.711 per gallon. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9/26/2022)

According to the EIA, the weekly national retail gasoline price on January 18, 2021 was $2.379 per gallon. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9/26/2022)

“Phil Flynn, an analyst with the Price Futures Group, said prices will head higher once withdrawals from U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve — a million barrels per day for six months — end this fall…. ‘Every time prices go down they are taking a victory lap, even though prices are substantially higher than they were when they took office,’ analyst Flynn said of [Biden] administration officials.” (“US Gas Prices Tick Up,” The Associated Press, 9/21/2022)


The Gas Price Spike Is In Spite Of The Biden Administration’s Continuing Use Of The Strategic Petroleum Reserve As A Political Crutch, Leaving It Dangerously Depleted

“U.S. emergency crude oil stocks fell 8.4 million barrels [in early September] to 434.1 million barrels, their lowest since October 1984, according to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) data released on [September 12th]. The release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in the week ended Sept. 9 was the steepest draw since May.” (“U.S. Emergency Oil Reserves Tumble To Lowest Since 1984,” Reuters, 9/12/2022)

“Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden has overseen the largest sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve ever … Having released 160 million barrels of crude since March, more than a quarter of the stockpile, the Energy Department has reduced the reserve to its lowest level in four decades. Some oil experts say continuing the withdrawals could test the nation’s energy security. But even though oil prices have fallen sharply from their peak, the administration is not ready to start refilling the reserve. Instead, rather than ending the releases in October as planned, it has decided to extend them, at a lower rate, for at least another month. ‘It’s a risky policy,’ said Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, a consulting firm in Washington. ‘This policy can only last until the stockpiles are exhausted, and replenishing the stockpiles would take years.’” (The New York Times, 9/29/2022)

The Biden Administration’s Naked Political Use Of The Reserve Is Unique In Its History

“The reserve has been used on several occasions to stabilize supplies, including during the Iraq-Kuwait crisis in 1990-91, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Middle East disruptions of the Arab Spring in 2011. Several past presidents released oil from the reserve during campaign seasons, but they always said their purpose was to bolster supplies, not explicitly to reduce prices. ‘Previously the mantra was ‘We’re not here to manage markets, we’re here to manage physical shortages,’’ said Mark Finley, an energy economist at Rice University. The current administration, by contrast, has promoted the releases explicitly as a relief to consumers. ‘The bottom line is if we want lower gas prices, we need to have more oil supply now,’ Mr. Biden said when announcing the release policy in March.” (The New York Times, 9/29/2022)


REMINDER: Chuck Schumer And Senate Democrats Gleefully Blocked Refilling The Strategic Petroleum Reserve When Oil Was Cheap And Now Taxpayers Will Pay Substantially More To Refill It

“The US may begin refilling its emergency oil reserve when crude prices dip below $80 a barrel, according to people familiar with the matter. Biden administration officials are weighing the timing of such a move …” (“Biden Officials Weigh Buying Oil at Around $80 to Refill Reserves,” Bloomberg News, 9/13/2022)

In March 2020, Chuck Schumer Boasted Of Blocking Congress From Refilling The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Deriding The Plan As A ‘Bailout For Big Oil’

“The Trump administration's plan to top off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve ran into a blockade Wednesday after lawmakers excluded $3 billion in funding for oil purchases from the massive stimulus package before Congress. Senate Democrats took credit for stripping out that money from the Senate bill, unveiled Wednesday, calling it a “bailout” for the oil industry…. The administration had announced plans to buy 77 million barrels — enough to fill the reserve. The SPR has about 640 million barrels of oil and filling it up would cost about $2.3 billion, at current prices…. [A] spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., pointed to the exclusion of the ‘$3 billion bailout for big oil’ …” (“Oil Purchase To Fill Strategic Reserve Dropped From Stimulus,” Roll Call, 3/25/2020)

At The Time, Crude Oil Was Selling For Less Than $25 Per Barrel

According to the EIA, the spot price for West Texas Intermediate the week of March 20th, 2020 was $24.19 per barrel. (Energy Information Administration, 9/28/2022)


And Despite Biden’s Acknowledgement That ‘We Need To Have More Oil Supply Now,’ He Has Strangled Oil Production On Federal Lands

“The Biden administration has leased fewer acres for oil-and-gas drilling offshore and on federal land than any other administration in its early stages dating back to the end of World War II, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. President Biden’s Interior Department leased 126,228 acres for drilling through Aug. 20, his first 19 months in office, the analysis found. No other president since Richard Nixon in 1969-70 leased out fewer than 4.4 million acres at this stage in his first term. Harry Truman was the last president to lease out fewer acres—65,658—in 1945-46, when offshore drilling was just beginning and the federal government didn’t yet control the deep-water leases that have made up the largest part of the federal oil-and-gas program in modern times…. The Journal’s analysis, based on Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management data, quantifies the slowdown in onshore and offshore leasing under Mr. Biden…. Federal leases account for more than a quarter of all U.S. oil production.” (“Federal Oil Leases Slow to a Trickle Under Biden,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/04/2022)

“The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 requires onshore oil and gas leasing ‘at least quarterly.’ While the Biden administration has been in office for six quarters, it has conducted auctions in just one of them. That happened in late June, after the administration came under increasing pressure to tame soaring gasoline prices at the pump in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” (“Federal Oil Leases Slow to a Trickle Under Biden,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/04/2022)

  • “In all, the Interior Department has awarded 203 leases for oil and gas development during Mr. Biden’s first 19 months in office. Former presidents Trump and Obama each approved 10 times as many leases during the same period, the Journal’s analysis shows. Going back further, the 203 leases under Mr. Biden amount to 3.2% of what presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Mr. Trump awarded on average in the same span. For offshore drilling, the Biden administration has yet to complete a sale. It did hold one, on Nov. 17, offering 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico in a sale originally proposed by the Trump administration that would have been the largest offshore sale in U.S. history. It sold 1.7 million acres, but a federal judge invalidated the sale in January, ruling that the administration failed to do a proper environmental analysis. The Biden administration declined to appeal the decision, letting the sale get canceled.” (“Federal Oil Leases Slow to a Trickle Under Biden,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/04/2022)

FLASHBACK: ‘Biden Pledged To Stop Drilling On Federal Lands As A Candidate’: ‘No More Drilling On Federal Lands, No More Drilling Including Offshore’

Mr. Biden pledged to stop drilling on federal lands as a candidate, saying the nation needs to transition to clean energy…. Mr. Biden has said repeatedly that the U.S. needs to transition away from fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change. ‘No more drilling on federal lands, no more drilling including offshore—no ability for the oil industry to continue to drill—period,’ Mr. Biden said when he ran for office.” (“Federal Oil Leases Slow to a Trickle Under Biden,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/04/2022)


After Being Socked With The Largest Increase In Electricity Prices In 40 Years, Americans ‘Are Set To Pay Even More This Winter’

“U.S. utility customers, faced with some of their largest bills in years, are set to pay even more this winter as natural-gas prices continue to climb. Natural-gas prices have more than doubled this year because of a global supply shortage made worse by the war in Ukraine, and they are expected to remain elevated for months as fuel is needed to light and heat homes during the winter. The supply crunch has made it substantially more expensive for utilities to purchase or produce power, and those costs are being passed on to customers. From New Hampshire to Louisiana, customers’ electricity rates are increasing. The Energy Information Administration anticipates the residential price of electricity will average 14.8 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2022, up 7.5% from 2021. The agency forecasts record gas consumption this year amid surging prices, in part because power producers are limited in their ability to burn coal instead due to supply constraints and plant retirements.” (“Electric Bills Soar Across the Country as Winter Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2022)

  • “The U.S. consumer-price index for electricity in August climbed 15.8% over the same month a year ago, the biggest such 12-month increase since 1981, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics…. The National Energy Assistance Directors Association has forecast the highest winter heating season in a decade—a 35% jump to an average of $1,202 from two seasons ago—and a likely shock to consumers.” (“Electric Bills Soar Across the Country as Winter Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/2022)

“[M]any Americans are bracing for the cold reality that they will have to shell out even more to keep their homes warm this winter. Families are expected to pay an average of 17.2% more for home heat this coming season, compared to last winter, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association. That comes on top of a big price increase last winter, bringing the two-year hike to more than 35%. Those who heat with natural gas are facing the largest spike, with their cost for the winter heating season expected to soar 34.3% to $952, the association said. The tab for heating oil is expected to jump 12.8% to $2,115. And those whose heat runs on electricity can expect to see a nearly 7% increase to $1,328.” (“Thought You Paid A Lot To Heat Your Home Last Year? Wait Until This Winter,” CNN Business, 9/24/2022)


REMINDER: Democrats Just Voted For New Energy Taxes, Which American Families Will Pay Via Their Utility Bills

Democrats’ Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree Included Tax Hikes On Oil, Which Will Cost Americans More At The Pump

“The legislation … would reinstate and increase a long-lapsed tax on crude and imported petroleum products to 16.4 cents per barrel, according to a summary of the plan released Sunday by the Senate’s tax-writing committee. The fee would be paid by US refineries receiving crude oil and importers of petroleum products, according to the Congressional Research Service… The proposed levy on imports is a revival of the Superfund tax, which helped fund the clean-up of hazardous waste sites and previously stood at 9.7 cents per barrel until it lapsed at the end of 1995. In addition to reinstating and increasing the tax, the Senate proposal would index the fee to inflation.” (“Manchin Spending Deal Includes Billions in Oil Import Taxes,” Bloomberg, 7/31/2022)

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: “Democrats’ reckless tax and spend spree endorsed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) includes a $12 billion tax on crude oil that will be paid by consumers in the form of higher gas and energy costs…. As if it weren’t bad enough, Democrats have pegged their tax increase to inflation. As inflation increases, so will the level of tax…. This tax hike is a clear violation of President Biden’s pledge not to raise any form of tax on anyone making less than $400,000 per year.” (“Manchin-Schumer Bill Includes $12 Billion Crude Oil Tax,” Americans for Tax Reform Website, 8/01/2022)

Democrats Also Included A New Tax On Natural Gas, ‘Creating A Burden That Will Fall Most Heavily On Lower-Income Americans’

“The 725-page bill released last week would also impose other costs for the oil and gas industry. It places a new first-time fee on methane emissions rising to as much as $1,500 a ton and increases the royalty rate companies pay to the government for oil and gas produced on federal land.” (“Manchin Spending Deal Includes Billions in Taxes on Oil Sector,” Bloomberg, 7/31/2022)

AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION: “On behalf of the companies and associations that make up the natural gas supply chain and the 180 million Americans and the 5.5 million businesses that rely on natural gas, we would like to express our concerns about including a methane emissions fee or tax in budget reconciliation legislation…. New fees or taxes on energy companies will raise costs for customers, creating a burden that will fall most heavily on lower-income Americans…. [B]ased on similar proposals introduced earlier this Congress, we estimate that the fee could amount to tens of billions of dollars annually. These major new costs most likely will result in higher bills for natural gas customers, including families, small businesses, and power generators…. Any increase in low-income households’ energy costs could prove devastating.” (American Gas Association and 27 Natural gas Supply Chain Associations, Letter to Sens. Schumer and McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Rep. McCarthy, 9/07/2021)

Democrats’ Legislation Also Charges Companies More To Produce Oil And Gas In The United States

“The bill would raise the minimum royalties for federal offshore oil and gas to 16.67% from the current 12.5%, and for 10 years would include a maximum of 18.75%, after which the cap would expire. The bill would revise the Mineral Leasing Act for onshore federal royalties to raise the minimum rate to 16.67% from its current 12.5%.” (“Democrats Reach Budget Bill Deal With Raft Of Oil, Gas Provisions,” Oil & Gas Journal, 7/28/2022)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Energy, Inflation